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DEAR READER: Let the lobbying commence on repealing Prop B

Friday, December 31, 2010 | 12:00 p.m. CST; updated 11:58 a.m. CST, Sunday, January 2, 2011

Dear Reader,

I wish there was a way to re-frame the debate over Proposition B. I’m not optimistic. I can do something about mean-spirited name-calling on the newspaper website.

On Dec. 1, Missouri Sen. Bill Stouffer pre-filed a bill to repeal the dog breeder rules approved in November by the state’s voters.

This week, news organizations noted that the group Missourians for the Protection of Dogs has spent $20,000 on billboards around Jefferson City. They say: “Missouri voters have spoken. Will you listen?”

State Rep. Chris Kelly appealed for moderation on Monday in a guest column on ColumbiaMissourian.com.  “There is room for reasonable compromise,” he wrote. “It will require that we get past the name calling, each respect the other side and be willing to accept middle ground even when we do not agree completely.”

“Both sides have reason to get it right.”

The comments posted on Kelly's column quickly devolved. Accusations of lies and liars were made. References to Kelly’s original column – which contained plenty of blunt statements worth challenge – soon were as rare as a morel mushroom in August.

Didn’t we just go through this in September and October?

Other editors and I should have invoked the comments policy earlier and more often in the 24 hours that followed Kelly’s comments. (It’s a rule: No personal attacks.) It’s a reminder to me to keep a weather eye out on Prop B articles.

And there will be more.

To reset the table, here’s the synopsis that ran before Kelly’s column:

“Proposition B passed in the November 2010 election with a 51.6 percent vote. It amended Missouri law to require large-scale dog breeding operations to provide each dog under their care with sufficient food, clean water, housing and space, necessary veterinary care, regular exercise and adequate rest between breeding cycles. The amendment further prohibits any breeder from having more than 50 breeding dogs for the purpose of selling their puppies as pets. The amendment also creates a misdemeanor crime of ‘puppy mill cruelty’ for any violations.’’

The intensity and interest of the issue is evident in the list of most viewed on ColumbiaMissourian.com. In 2010, two of the top 10 articles were Prop B related.

The Missourian probably devoted more coverage to it than any other issue or candidate on the ballot. The mantra among the staff: Spread light amid all the heat.

Next week, the 96th General Assembly convenes. Senate Bill 4, Stouffer’s repeal, will be in play then.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jake Wagman predicts there won’t be enough political capital, including a veto override, for a repeal.

What will we learn – about the laws and about ourselves – along the way?

Tom


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Comments

Ruth Keezer December 31, 2010 | 9:32 p.m.

The reason that the process of turning a voter initiative into law requires passing by the senate, house, and governor is to insure that voters don't have to live with a poorly written, unconstitutional, or just plain BAD piece of legislation that they were duped into voting for by a multi-million-dollar out-of-state lobbying factory called HSUS, The Humane Society of the United States. HSUS targeted the legal licensed breeders of Missouri and lied to the voters, telling them that it was about preventing cruelty in puppy mills. The illegal unregulated puppy mills now continue unaffected by Proposition B and the voters are left to wonder...what happened?.....as the legitimate dog breeding industry in Missouri is destroyed.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers December 31, 2010 | 10:17 p.m.

I have to disagree that Representative Kelly's post was a plea for compromise.

Consider that we've had any number of opportunies these past years to compromise within the legislature--and all these years, any attempt to improve the welfare of dogs in commercial breeders is shot down. Or state representatives have tried to modify the state Constitution to disallow any citizen initiative dealing with animals. Or tried to modify the state Constitution, requiring that animal legislation must pass with more than a simple majority. Or...well, I could go on, but won't.

The attempts to modify Proposition B aren't a compromise. They are a way of, again, attempting to stonewall any effort to truly improve the lives of dogs in commercial breeders. Oh we might get a crumb or two, but the real substance of Proposition B? Oh, no, that will end up on the legislative floor.

After all, they are just dogs. Right?

How much of the law of this state must be modified or subverted in order to re-assure a paranoid agricultural community that can't differentiate between dogs and cows? To preserve what is nothing more than a non-growth industry?

An industry that is a constant embarrassment to the people of this state? One that subjects dogs to a life of misery on one end, and promises heart break to puppy owners whose puppies end up sick or dying on the other?

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers December 31, 2010 | 11:30 p.m.

There is something else we also need to consider:

Do we, who are not farmers, or who live in towns like Columbia and St. Louis, have a say in how our state is governed? This is a very important question to ask, because it impacts on more than just Proposition B. It could very well impact on any legislation where the rural, agricultural community is in disagreement with the rest of the state.

We heard the arguments of both sides and we voted for Proposition B. With this vote, the majority of people in the state disagreed with the seeming majority of the people in the agricultural community.

Sometimes this happens--there are many times where one group or another is unhappy with a vote. It's one of the painful aspects of our form of government.

Yet there's a dark side to the Proposition B vote. We are now finding out how perilously imbalanced our state is when it comes to legislation that impacts, directly or indirectly, with the agricultural community. Somehow, the minority agricultural community seemingly has power over the majority, and it isn't earned, or asked. It has been taken from us.

Before anyone says anything, yes, I know that we have a majority rule, minority rights form of government. But the minority rights are those firmly affixed in our Constitution. Note the emphasis on "affixed in our Constitution", because this is important.

Every small group that comes along and is peeved at an election can't, willy nilly, claim "minority rights", and expect government to come to a screeching halt, like the elephant terrified of the mouse crossing in front of it.

No, instead, if they believe they have a legitimate claim for redress, they can turn to the third arm of our government--the judicial system. It is a system that can be rocky at times, but it is a system that has kept stability in our country.

So if the agricultural community or the commercial dog breeders feel their Constitutional rights have been abrogated with this election, I would hope that they file a lawsuit and challenge Proposition B. That is the right and proper course.

But to see our elected officials attempting to overrule the majority in favor of the minority, for no other reason than that the minority has demanded it--and without any legal basis for their demand--well, this is deeply disturbing.

If they so move with Proposition B, what other law or legislation will be subverted because this same minority demands it? How many laws that would have benefited the many have been set aside in the past because this one minority has demanded it?

Does our vote even matter anymore?

(Report Comment)
Yves Montclear January 1, 2011 | 12:46 a.m.

Let us also consider...Happy New Year!

You people are such downers.

Always typing the gloom and doom. Trust me, things are going to be OK.

You live in the greatest country the world has ever seen, yet you are still unhappy. What should we do with you?

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 1, 2011 | 1:11 a.m.

Bring us new cars and bags of money?

Happy new Year to you to Yves.

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson January 1, 2011 | 2:17 a.m.

Shelley: Our republic is not based on one vote, one time. We are a republic, not a democracy, after all. Legislative debate and consideration of Prop B and its implementation is not unprecedented, unconstitutional, or otherwise insidious.

(Report Comment)
Ruth Keezer January 1, 2011 | 2:40 a.m.

Shelley, even YOU have admitted, before the vote, that Proposition B was badly written and needed some changes. Remember? Why are you fighting it now? Let it go through the process and accept the needed changes! I would prefer a total repeal, of course.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers January 1, 2011 | 8:15 a.m.

Tony Robertson,

So you wish to change our State Constitution? Eliminate the citizen initiative?

As I just wrote, how much of our government has to change now, in order to appease the agricultural interests? Should we even be allowed to vote? After all, the agricultural interests tried to actually modify the State Constitution so that we, as a people, couldn't even bring about a citizen initiative to do with animals. Any reasonable person should be greatly concerned at one industry's extremely imbalanced influence in Jefferson City.

The purpose of the citizen initiative is that when the state legislature fails repeatedly to act, we have a last resort. And now, evidently, even that is being denied us.

No, Ruth Keezer, I said no such thing. Think of the absurdity of your comment--would I be fight any and all modification as strongly as I do, if I felt the bill needed to be modified?

No, we know what "compromise" will be: a few innocuous items left in, while the important pieces are ripped away. And Missouri will continue being the puppy mill capital of the US, and the dogs will continue their lives of misery, and the poor little children will continue having their hearts broken when that cute little pet shop puppy they brought home sickens and dies.

And agricultural interests will, again, assert their unreasonable and imbalanced control over Jefferson City.

Happy New Year.

(Report Comment)
Don Adkins January 1, 2011 | 8:18 a.m.

A Republic is about individual rights. Not mob rule. Prop. B sets a scary precedence. It's so illogical that the vast majority of city dwellers who have little if any
knowledge of rural economics should dictate how we citizens in the country make our living. We do not vote in the affairs that effect your city way of life. You should have no say in ours. If this senario was played out in it's fulness then the mob could and would decide how we should raise our cattle and hogs. Our chickens, our sheep and goats, etc. etc. The Antis have already accomplished this in other states and that is no less their agenda in Missouri. As the saying goes everyone can have an opinion but not everyone can have their own set of facts. If all you know is what you read and hear Animal Activists say then you are grossly misinformed. They do not have a single logical plank in their entire program. Their aim and only aim by their own addmission is to put people out of business by forcing them to do the impossible. Prop. B should be repealed as it was not only deceptively written but it played upon the feelings of an uninformed public who were ignorant of exsisting kennel laws already in effect in the state. Puppy mills are an abomination to anyone who care about animals and ought to be done away with. They are not registerd kennels who are inspected by state and federal agents plus a local veternarian . If they are then someone should be fired for not doing their job. Prop B will affect unlicensed puppy mills about as much as a new gun law will affect criminals!! I've often wondered if the amount of people who seem so concerned about the welfare and humane treatment of animals, are as concerned about the welfare and inhuman treatment our little helpless unborn citizens who are hideously killed everyday go through. Can't help but wonder!

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers January 1, 2011 | 10:56 a.m.

(I think the editor can begin to see what those who are for Proposition B eventually lose patience, and resort to sarcasm and disdain.)

Don Adkins, then let us abolish all the race results, because the same "mob rule" is what elected all of the state representatives, in addition to voting on several other state and local issues and Constitutional amendments.

Or, is it that these issues were fine, and the elected officials are fine, but this one particular bill isn't fine. In your logic, everything else is our system in action, but Proposition B is mob rule?

Such logic isn't worthy of a respectful reply, but I at least will attempt to be civil.

You can cherry pick when it comes to the laws of the land. Missouri has the right of a citizen initiative. We have this right as a last resort when faced with a legislature that does not act. It is actually a complex and difficult process involving the gathering of a significant number of signatures in order to ensure the initiative's place on the ballot. It only succeeds when enough people in Missouri vote for the initiative.

(And most citizen initiatives actually fail.)

Using the citizen initiative, we have eliminated animal fights, raised the minimum wage, increased fees for schools, required utility companies to use more renewable energy resources, and a host of other reforms and actions that benefit all of us, and coming about because our legislature just wouldn't act.

Which of these should we eliminate? If we eliminate Proposition B because it came about from a citizen initiative, then we must do the same for all of the initiatives.

(Of course we realize that some state reps are threatened by the citizen initiative. They don't like any challenge to their control and authority. They are gifted with the wisdom of the gods, while we shuffle about in illiterate ignorance, barely intelligent enough to tie our own shoe laces.)

Tell me, Don Adkins, how much of our government must we undermine and circumvent in order to ensure that agriculture no longer feels that a measure meant to ensure quality of life for dogs is not somehow going to be used for cattle and chickens?

If they see "chicken" and "cow" when the rest of us see "dog", is there any power on earth that will make agriculture feel secure?

When does it end? When will the agricultural community feel that have enough? When we can no longer vote, at all? When we can't vote on anything to do what that industry (but we can vote on other industries)?

When will the representatives actually begin to respect the state Constitution and stop tampering with the citizen initiative process? When all of the special interests have been sated, and they deign to let us have a say in _something_?

Seriously, when does it end?

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers January 1, 2011 | 10:57 a.m.

Sorry, you _can't_ cherry pick when it comes to the laws of the land...

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith January 1, 2011 | 11:19 a.m.

While non-legislative "propositions" have enjoyed a certain amount of popularity in recent years, using them as a substitute for legislative action is at best suspect.

Forget the specific subject in question, when legislative action is absent it USED to be that we attempted to correct problems within government rather than making an "end run" around them.

The problem with the "puppy mills" is not existing laws (as several posters, notably Mark Foecking, have pointed out) but with lack of enforcement of existing laws.

During the reign of the last kings of France, before Louis XVI lost his head (literally), there was a law mandating the death penalty for anyone stealing bread; thefts of bread continued, possibly because the law was poorly enforced.

No law - no matter how stringent the penalty - is any more effective than its enforcement - or lack of same, but because it's been put on the books it may make some folks feel good.

(Report Comment)
Yves Montclear January 1, 2011 | 11:57 a.m.

I don't think logic has much to do with this debate.

from the above comment:
--In your logic, everything else is...--

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers January 1, 2011 | 12:08 p.m.

Ellis Smith, Proposition B is a corrective action. It is an amendment to existing laws, not a replacement. And it is necessary--the life of dogs in many licensed facilities is atrocious, yet these facilities remain in business.

These breeders remain in business because existing laws are inadequate, with too many gaps.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith January 1, 2011 | 1:00 p.m.

How does that old saying go? "Only occasionally accurate, but never in doubt." :)

(Report Comment)
Ruth Keezer January 1, 2011 | 2:09 p.m.

Shelley, I guess you said so many things promoting Proposition B that your memory is overloaded. Just a gentle reminder....you were saying (on another site) that Prop B never 'intended' for newborn puppies to have unfettered access to outside or to be victims of the temperature requirements and that 'it could have been written better' and could be corrected later to make it clear. And yes, I definitely remember it was YOU who said that. Directly to ME.
Passion is sometimes admired, but in this case, you are defending an admittedly poorly-written proposition that needs REPEALED.

(Report Comment)
Ruth Keezer January 1, 2011 | 2:51 p.m.

Shelley says: "And Missouri will continue being the puppy mill capital of the US, and the dogs will continue their lives of misery..." Again, you are exploiting the emotional, NOT FACTUAL, side of the issue. The facts are that Prop B ONLY affects legal, licensed breeders (how many times did you deny that before the vote?) and does absolutely NOTHING for the problem breeders who refuse to be licensed!
The dogs in the legitimate breeding industry do NOT lead lives of misery. Are you kidding? They have clean, comfortable climate-controlled housing, food and water available at all times, hugs from their owner, compatible dog friends for roommates, and they happily raise their babies, while being waited on hand and foot! Their tails are always wagging. What a life! Have you ever even seen a professional licensed kennel? As in any industry, there are a few exceptions, but the majority do a great job without Proposition B! REPEAL, REPEAL, REPEAL.

(Report Comment)
Don Adkins January 1, 2011 | 3:02 p.m.

It's amazing to me how those of you that flount Prop. B. will not even acknowledge what HSUS have done and have attempted to do to agriculture in other states! Their intent is no different for the state of Missouri. How can you only see dogs in Prop B. while others see cattle, hog, or chickens? It's because of their spoken and written trails of intented purpose. Perhaps you suffer from tunnel vision. Or are even misinformed perhaps. Or hiding an agenda behind a false and lying rhetoric against honest licensed kennels in Missouri. Perhaps it's a combination of all three. However the people of Missouri are an honorable people and at the end of the day given the true facts of the case will arrive at an honorable solution. All of HSUS out of state money and the beating of drums by a brain washed core of cronnies will not change that!

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers January 1, 2011 | 3:27 p.m.

Ruth Keezer, sorry, but no. It is not something I believe now, and it isn't anything I believed before the vote. I have argued, I know excessively so to some folks, that the bill is well crafted. As a stand alone bill, it isn't sufficient, but as an amendment to existing legislation, specifically targeted at known problems with existing regulations, it is nicely focused, and economically phrased.

The new born puppy thing? I've argued that one to the point where I don't want to see myself repeat the response. AND YOU DON'T NEED TO SHOUT I CAN HEAR YOU JUST FINE!

I am putting together a web site where I will gather all of this and go into more depth. And then I'll just link. You're welcome, Missourian.

Proposition B applies to any commercial breeder with over ten intact adult dogs that breeds puppies for the purpose of commercial sales as puppies. There is an additional regulation that applies to the unlicensed breeder, too, in that they have to become licensed to continue. But the care outlined in Proposition and the intact adult qualification applies to _all_ breeders.

As for my arguments...are you now telling me that not only is my vote to be disallowed, but my arguments in favor of the bill must be modified?

Must I wear your recommended color of clothing on Mondays, too? Perhaps read only books you approve?

You're rather free with commands.

Stop it! STOP IT NOW!!

See? Commands are not particularly conducive to good debate. And I use the term "debate", loosely.

You also wrote:

"The dogs in the legitimate breeding industry do NOT lead lives of misery. Are you kidding? They have clean, comfortable climate-controlled housing, food and water available at all times, hugs from their owner, compatible dog friends for roommates, and they happily raise their babies, while being waited on hand and foot! Their tails are always wagging. What a life!"

And this type of doggie nirvana should have no problem meeting the requirements of Proposition B.

Don Adkins, deep breaths. In. Out.

Seriously, I had a hard time following your comment. Can you break it down a bit?

(Report Comment)
Yves Montclear January 1, 2011 | 4:26 p.m.

Yes, you have become excessive on this topic, possibly even obsessive. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

People who are passionate about certain beliefs, have made this country what it is today.

Shelley Powers wrote:
--I have argued, I know excessively so to some folks,--

(Report Comment)
Ruth Keezer January 1, 2011 | 6:57 p.m.

And this type of doggie nirvana should have no problem meeting the requirements of Proposition B.

Shelley, the point is that proposition B, with its punitive restrictions, criminal codes, excessive space requirements, outlawing healthier, cleaner, and more comfortable kennel housing, and disallowing the breeder to protect newborns from the ignorance of the proposition is something that is just NOT needed, NOT wanted, NOT healthy, NOT practical, NOT even sensible.
Shelley says: Proposition B applies to any commercial breeder with over ten intact adult dogs that breeds puppies for the purpose of commercial sales as puppies. There is an additional regulation that applies to the unlicensed breeder, too, in that they have to become licensed to continue.
What is this 'additional regulation' in Proposition B that applies to the unlicensed breeder? Not there. A breeder has to be licensed for it to apply at all. Did you forget what prop b regs contain? It applies to any breeder (commercial or not) having more than 10 intact FEMALE dogs. And dog breeders don't breed puppies. They wait for puppies to grow up. I think the rest of it is, for sale as pets (not puppies).

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers January 1, 2011 | 8:15 p.m.

Yves, yes, I do need to spend time doing other things. Such as contacting state representatives.

Ruth Keezer, your comment about endangering new born puppies and endangering a warm and cozy environment is...disingenuous. To put it politely.

As for the unlicensed breeder, this has been answered ad infinitum, so one last time: Proposition B is an _amendment_ to existing regulations. Unlicensed breeders are covered in the existing regulations. This regulation is not impacted by Proposition B.

And I have no idea what the rest of your comment is saying.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking January 2, 2011 | 8:27 a.m.

Shelley Powers wrote:

"the life of dogs in many licensed facilities is atrocious, yet these facilities remain in business."

This is not a problem with existing law - it's a probloemk of existing law not being adequately enforced.

All the violations you point to are already against current regulations. Simply adding more laws, without sufficient enforcement (as shown by continuing violations) simply means we have a stricter law. The violations will continue.

You have some 1200 MDA reports that you've gone through at great length and put into Excel. Do you have statistics for common violations? For example, how common are cage size violations, or instances of sagging flooring? Just to pull examples of poor care out of these reports doesn't mean they are in any way common.

I saw in one USDA report where there was a dead dog in a cage with a couple of his littermates. I saw that once, out of hundreds of reports with no or minor violations (chewed bowls or dirty feeders). Based on that, I would not think that having dead dogs in a litter was a common enough problem to change the regulations (even though it is already against the rules). It's the same here - how common are some of the violations you use as examples?

DK

(Report Comment)
Robin Nuttall January 2, 2011 | 9:33 a.m.

No one commenting on these boards is in support of dogs being kept in inhumane conditions. No one. The difference in opinion comes with whether Proposition B will affect those who are perpetuating these crimes and abuses. And the answer is no, it will not.

Instead of being so hidebound as to defend every aspect of this fatally flawed initiative, why don't we spend that passion and energy working with licensed breeders already compliant with existing law, veterinarians, legislators, and show/hobby breeders to craft something that will actually work to eliminate those substandard unlicensed breeders and the few licensed breeders who don't comply?

We can debate the merits of Prop B till the cows come home. We debated it in hundreds of emails before the election. Just repeating the same points over and over does not lead to a solution that will actually help dogs.

I bought my first purebred dog in 1981 and started showing in 1983. I have been at various times a member of 3 National breed clubs and 2 local breed clubs; am currently President of one local performance club. I have held office on a national as well as local level. I have worked with (and owned) rescue dogs as well as carefully and responsibly bred dogs. I show and train (or have shown and/or trained) in AKC, UKC, APDT, NADAC, UDC and ASCA in conformation, obedience, agility, schutzhund, rally obedience, tracking and dock diving (yep, that's a competitive sport too!). Dog welfare and advocacy is a very long time passion of mine because dogs are integral to my life.

I'm not typing the above to beat my own drum but to hopefully lend credence to my position that if I felt Proposition B was the answer I would have championed it eagerly. Remember that the Missouri Veterinary Association, the American Kennel Club, the Columbia Kennel Club, the Show Me Agility Club, and many more local and national organizations dedicated to dogs and animal welfare strongly opposed this bill. It was not because we want dogs to be abused, but because it was not the right way to address the issue.

We have an unprecedented opportunity to actually open a dialog about this issue and craft methods that WILL work. Proposition B is not the answer, but we have a window to use this period of discussion to move forward in a positive way. Hopefully we will take it.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers January 2, 2011 | 1:42 p.m.

Mark Foeking, I do not have a spreadsheet with all breeders. Every time I attempt to collect summary data, I hit a report that disturbs me, and I have to stop looking at the inspection reports for a while. And I don't have easy access to Missouri inspection reports. The Missouri Department of Agriculture isn't overwhelmingly helpful, nor particularly adapted to modern technology.

Right now, all I'm trying to do is associate breeders with state representatives. Eventually, I hope to have something online for all the USDA inspections.

Of course, this doesn't mean anything. Existing USDA regulations would not meet Proposition B demands. In particular, access to an outdoor run, access to adequately heated/cooled indoor kennels, space requirements, breeding frequency, and number of intact dogs are all more finely defined with Proposition B.

So a breeder, under existing state and federal regulations, can keep their 24 inch dog in a wire cage that is 30" square. This would be a violation of Proposition B. Rightfully so--6 inches longer than the dog? All their lives? This is atrocious.

Under existing laws, dogs can be kept in outdoor kennels 24 hours a day, as long as the dog species is "acclimated" to the climate. Well, no dog can be acclimated to a Missouri climate because we can get very cold in the winter and very hot in the summer. At some people, the dogs are going to suffer. This is atrocious.

If the weather is cold and the dogs kept outside, all that's required is shelter and sufficient bedding. That's the words used--sufficient bedding. How does an inspector determine what is 'sufficient' bedding? And how can you ensure each inspector has the same interpretation of "sufficient bedding"?

Existing laws are hopelessly flawed, and full of such subjective measurements. This, to me, is atrocious.

Robin Nuttall, when the AKC teamed up with Hunte Corporation, a company that ships 90,000 puppies a year, for mass producing of AKC registrations, that organization lost my respect. As for the MVMA, well, it has to decide if it's interested in supporting animals? Or just humans?

Just because a group claims authority, doesn't mean it's dancing with the angels.

Ah well, I'm talking too much in this forum. I have a web site I'm putting together with all the data I've been collecting. I'll drop links to the site in comments when I'm finished. Then I don't have to fill comment threads with the same response over and over again.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers January 2, 2011 | 1:44 p.m.

Sigh, another reason why comments are not the best place for longer writings...

Should be "At some point, the dogs are going to suffer. This is atrocious."

(Report Comment)
Ruth Keezer January 2, 2011 | 8:05 p.m.

Shelley says: Ah well, I'm talking too much in this forum. ....Then I don't have to fill comment threads with the same response over and over again.
Thank you, thank you! I anxiously look forward to NOT seeing your continual blind support of an badly-written, fatally flawed Proposition B.
By the way, my last paragraph you couldn't understand was a correction of your 'version' of Prop B. Since you defend it so absolutely, you should at least be able to quote or paraphrase it accurately.
Robin Nuttall, I agree with you in spirit, but as you can see, HSUS and prop B supporters are not willing to entertain the thought of compromise or even give an inch. They want us dog breeders ALL out of business and Proposition B will go a long ways toward that goal.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire January 2, 2011 | 8:19 p.m.

Alright. I've avoided this long enough.

Send the dog breeders to IRAQ!!!

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 2, 2011 | 8:30 p.m.

Ahhh finally... Paul Allaire's hallowed command to "Send them to IRAQ"!.... LOL.

I kinda missed that.

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers January 2, 2011 | 9:06 p.m.

Ruth, curious: where is your kennel? Where are photos and a web site about your kennel?

Do you use a broker? I know you have puppies showing up in New York, so you're probably using a broker.

How many adult dogs do you have? How many people do you employ? You're critical of everyone associated with Proposition B, and how it's not needed. So tell us your story.

(Report Comment)
Louis Schneebaum January 2, 2011 | 9:12 p.m.

Show me how this affects anyone other than vile dog torturers?

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 2, 2011 | 9:15 p.m.

Ruth,

I should remind you that you are under no obligation to answer any of Shelley's questions... LOL.

I am watching Law and Order; so I just HAD to say that... LMAO!

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers January 3, 2011 | 9:55 a.m.

Ricky Gurley

Thank you for your helpful addition and clarification that yes, no one has to answer questions in any comment.

The point I want to make is that the biggest argument against Proposition B could be showing us all the wonderful places where dogs are raised.

Instead, we're treated to a world of secrecy where one breeder actually tried to run over a news camera crew when they wanted to interview the owner (Fox news).

Bills have been introduced where state reps have actually tried to make such video and photographic evidence, illegal. Astonishing.

The few breeders that would allow cameras either could easily meet Proposition B guidelines, or if you look more deeply into their operations, you find either inspection problems, or reports of illness, death, and genetic defects in the puppies.

We hear absurd comments about not wanting people around because it will upset the dogs or spread germs -- so why don't the breeders post photos of their "complete" operations online?

No, instead we get pictures of kiddies holding little puppies, and photos of puppies placed next to rag dogs -- not photos of cage after cage, most of wire, many only 6 inches or so longer than the dog.

I've long felt there was a valid consumer complaint about dog breeders because the photos the breeders show are misleading to the public.

If the industry is so good, why so many secrets? Why hide so much?

So no, Ruth does not have to answer. But no answer is an answer.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 3, 2011 | 3:16 p.m.

Shelley,

First, I should say that you seem very passionate about this issue. No problem with that; I too am passionate about certain issues. Just not this one. You actually seem "hyper-passionate" about this issue; and I have a small suggestion. Switch to decaf..

Second, as I implied; I was just being funny with my comment. That's all, no offense intended..

And third, not answering a question is not always an answer to a the question. Before you can assume that not answering a question is an answer to your question you first have to consider if the person you are asking the question to respects you enough or considers you significant enough to answer your questions.......

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers January 3, 2011 | 5:31 p.m.

Ricky Gurley,

I happen to dislike animals living in misery. I guess I get passionate about such things. It's fortunate that this doesn't seem to bother you, but consider this...

At least the people in this thread, no matter how much we disagree, were here because we are interested. Not bored and just looking for something to do, which is evidently why you felt compelled to respond.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward January 3, 2011 | 6:29 p.m.

Rickie G. would offer culinary tips to Shelley Powers!
Is Rickie G a chef?

We assumed this was a discussion of puppies.
Perhaps Rickie G has some culinary tips for the preparation of puppy?

Alas, Rickie G speaks of 'significance' to Shelley Powers in a tone that suggests that he does not consider her to be so.

Rickie G. is apparently MOST significant to Rickie G.

This is a good thing!

This means that someone SOMEWHERE finds Rickie G significant!

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire January 3, 2011 | 7:09 p.m.

Terry Ward says...

"Rickie G. would offer culinary tips to Shelley Powers!
Is Rickie G a chef?
We assumed this was a discussion of puppies.
Perhaps Rickie G has some culinary tips for the preparation of puppy?"

That is a good idea that I didn't think of...

But first, where did they put that recipe for the kittens?

http://www.columbiamissourian.com/storie...

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward January 3, 2011 | 7:51 p.m.

PaulieA would be a chef also?
Missouri has many chefs!

And he would share his Kitty Cookery book?

And we though this was about Proposition Puppy!

PaulieA would try to fool us!
But he has not succeeded!

We know that sheep are more to his liking!

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire January 3, 2011 | 8:03 p.m.

Yes, it's true. But they won't allow me to keep a real one in my yard though. I tried lobbying the city but they said I could only have chickens. So I told them what they could do with their chickens. Quit dogging me out.

http://www.epartyunlimited.com/dolly-the...

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward January 3, 2011 | 9:08 p.m.

Would not an 'outside' sheep be somewhat inconvenient?

We were thinking more of a sharing experience inside the home.

WE have heard that this is common in Missouri.

WE have been told by many people all over the country that Missouri has things a bit topsy-turvy!

Everyone says that in Missouri the PUPPIES live outside in the mud pens and the sheep reside inside sharing ALL the comforts of the home.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz January 3, 2011 | 10:32 p.m.

Oh Terry, you're so funny with the bestiality jokes...

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 3, 2011 | 10:34 p.m.

Shelley,

You are right, I am bored often enough when I post. But I have three dogs, one German Shepherd and two Jack Russells. I use the term dog here so everyone will accurately read this; but the fact of the matter is they are more than just "my dogs", they are my children. The way I feel about this is simple; if you don't feel like your dogs are your kids and you can't treat them as such, then you should not have them.

But....

I realize that I can not impose such beliefs on others. I can't make others feel compassion for their pets. I also realize that with breeders they are running a business often enough, and thus don't hold them to the same standard as long as they are not intentionally abusing their dogs and they feed and shelter them well. I also realize that the word "well" here means different things to different people, so let common sense govern for you. And I would not try to impose my standards on them unless they did something with their dogs that was obviously wrong. And I am not sure that in a time of near economic recession and constant threats to our national security that our state should be so terribly concerned about this either.

And neither should you, Shelley...

Those are my "unbored thoughts" on this matter, Shelley.

And Terry I'd hardly call advising someone to switch to decaf a "culinary tip". But I have a few great recipes for you if you are interested? Fruit cake, nutbar, if you are interested and would not feel guilty about eating them?

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers January 4, 2011 | 8:24 a.m.

Rick Gurley

Thanks for the thoughtful follow-up comment. I do appreciate it.

You don't want to impose your will on the breeders, but you seem to have no problem wanting to impose your will on me and others who voted for Proposition B.

You see, I happen to believe that as a society, we have an obligation to care for the animals, especially ones that we've raised to be dependent on us. That if we don't do so, we become diminished. We are not the best we can be.

Personally, I would be ashamed of myself if I did not do something about the dogs; dogs that are kept in a barren, hopeless situation all of their lives because some hog farmer who failed at raising hogs, thinks they can raise dogs.

I don't have to own the dogs to care about the dogs. This isn't about property, this is about being compassionate human beings who can see beyond our own lives and our own backyards and who wants to ensure all the dogs have a chance.

In addition, from a more pragmatic viewpoint, as a tax payer in St. Louis County and Missouri, my money goes to pay for shelters for dogs--many of which are worn out or sick dogs that the breeders don't want anymore.

In a couple of years, I'm rather hoping we'll see fewer dogs in the shelters, as many of the worst of the large scale breeders closes their doors for good.

I'm also hoping that when people think of Missouri that they think of it as something other than a place that is the puppy mill capital of the US.

I most sincerely hope that people don't see us as a state so determined to hold the puppy mill title, that the state representatives are actually considering overriding the people's vote.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward January 4, 2011 | 8:56 a.m.

RickieG wisely assumes a softer tone regarding ShelleyP.

ShelleyP is the rarest of rare, battling her enemies with manners and grace whilst presuming their competency and acuity in thought word and deed.

We presume no such thing.
And derive much glee in hurtling figurative plague victims into the camps of our clueless enemies.

RickieG provides us with much hilarity in his use of 'fruits' and 'nuts' in a pathetic attempt to lob plague victims into our camp.

We have utilized our OWN MagnumPI skills to discover RickieG's tendency-in other 'unmoderated' forums- to attack and disparage his enemies in VERY naughty terms and tones.

Alas, RickieG is herein reduced to arming himself with fruits and nuts and recipes from Li'l Abner's kitchen.

(Report Comment)
Andrew Hansen January 4, 2011 | 9:56 a.m.

Man, I am sick of this boring issue.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers January 4, 2011 | 9:58 a.m.

"We presume no such thing."

OK, that cracked me up.

Thanks for the chuckle, Terry. And the defense.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward January 4, 2011 | 10:31 a.m.

One can only marvel at the mighty force which compels AndyH to engage in that which bores him.

The issue of the treatment of our companion creatures NEVER bores us.

We will continue with our Communist plot of the lobbing of plague victims into the camp of the enemy until the cows come home to roost and the ears of the pig become silken totebags.

Alas, littleblackdogs must now retreat into her terrorist cell to plan the next attack upon the evil forces who would defend the huggers of puppy-mills!

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire January 4, 2011 | 10:40 a.m.

"We will continue with our Communist plot of the lobbing of plague victims into the camp of the enemy until the cows come home to roost and the ears of the pig become silken totebags."

Terry, that sounds like animal abuse.

(Report Comment)
Andrew Hansen January 4, 2011 | 10:57 a.m.

@Terry: Well, I cannot call specific people boring...that might be a violation of the terms of service. So, the best I can do is make a general comment about the discussion being boring. There is no discussion going on here at this point. It is just the same people saying the same things over and over and over. That is pretty boring.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire January 4, 2011 | 11:14 a.m.

Hey, you already said that.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 4, 2011 | 12:26 p.m.

Terry Ward,

Fruit cakes, Nut Bars, and DIPSTICKS! BANANAS galore... Interested in those "culinary recipes"? I can send them right over to you; if you want LOL.

Yes Terry, I am a "very naughty boy"...... I am happy to see that you can use Google.. Good for you.. If you want; I can send you instructions on how to use email next, since you seem to have mastered Google?
---------------------------------------------------------

Shelley,

Do you feel "willess" because I expressed an opinion on here? Do you think that I have the capability to impose my will on others by expressing an opinion on this forum? I must be a lot more "powerful" than I thought. I should watch that, I suppose. Perhaps I should keep my opinions to myself so that I don't impose my will on others by expressing my opinions? Or better yet, perhaps I could get a television station to broadcast my opinions during the next presidential election... LOL.

I'd hardly call expressing my opinion here an attempt to impose my will on others.. But if that is the case, you seem to be wanting to impose A LOT of your will on others here....

My point is simple.. Missouri is moving to a point where the state is trying to regulate EVERYTHING. This is not good for the citizens of the state of Missouri. This bill just causes more work for our government, which in turns generates a need to hire more people in our government, which in turn raises taxes in a time where our economy is already failing. THAT IS THE BIG PICTURE, SHELLEY!

The reason that this bill is not needed, is because we already have enforceable laws on the books that can prevent animal abuse and animal cruelty. The problem is not the need for new regulations and laws, the problem is enforcing the laws that we already have.

We have animal control departments set up in each county. We have a Sheriff's Department in each county. If a person reports that a dog or any pet is being neglected, abused, or the owner is being cruel to the dog, the owner can be charged with a crime, the dog can be taken away and put up for adoption by a owner that is better suited to care for the dog. Your government is not really doing you any favors by creating redundant laws. Your government is just contributing to an already stressed economy, and making life just a little more difficult for the citizenry. And your cause does not outweigh the quality of life for the citizenry, Shelley.

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking January 4, 2011 | 4:07 p.m.

Shelley Powers wrote:

"I'm also hoping that when people think of Missouri that they think of it as something other than a place that is the puppy mill capital of the US."

They don't. They think of the Arch, or Branson, or Lewis and Clark, or sweet corn. I've never known one of my out-of-state friends or relatives that had ever heard of "puppy-mill capital".

Because it's a major issue to you doesn't mean it's a major issue to most people.

All dogs aren't pets. If you want to make them pets, then attend the next auction. take all of them home, and love on them to your heart's (and wallets) content. But the fact that all dogs don't sleep with their owners (or even in their owners house) doesn't make them abused.

DK

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire January 4, 2011 | 5:12 p.m.

I think that we can all stop crying now.

First, I'm thinking that the two or three brooders who were on their way to the puppy poor house were either already there or found the extra chicken wire to add a couple inches to their cages or whatever else it was they needed.

And if they were that low on funds they likely don't have the money to buy the attention of anyone they need in the capital. It is a shame they have become so disenfranchised.

But at this point they have likely deduced that since they weren't being supervised before and that there is no money thrown in that they will continue without any oversight anyway.

Regarding the inside vs outside thing, I know of someone who grows the puppies inside the house and borrows one of the sons from the owner every few months for some motherly love. From what I remember the products have complete paperwork. I don't know the rest of the details but they are/were some ugly damn dogs. I know that much. And at this point I am going to have to comment that I am glad I am only viewing the devastated brooders electronically. I don't know if I could stand a closer inspection.

Now, regarding the other inside vs outside debate from our Terry, whose rabid writing style I adore so much...

"Would not an 'outside' sheep be somewhat inconvenient?
We were thinking more of a sharing experience inside the home."

I appreciate your thoughts on this matter. I understand that it is of great importance to you. You may have greater experience than I. However my reply is still a firm "No", in emulation of your preferred political party, I'm sure.
What fun would it be if I couldn't get other people to watch?

Now that I have shared some intimate details of my personal life with you, would you be so good as to entertain us with the question of who is "we"?

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward January 4, 2011 | 8:07 p.m.

When we find out you will be the first to know.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers January 4, 2011 | 8:18 p.m.

Mark Foeking, dogs have been bred for 15,000 years to be companions to humans. No, not all dogs sleep next to their masters, but until commercial dog breeding took off right after WWII, they weren't kept, by the 100s, in small wire cages, so some failed hog farmer could pretend he or she knows what they're doing.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire January 4, 2011 | 8:31 p.m.

I suppose that would be an equivalent of a quarter million years of human evolution... if we are evolving.

(Report Comment)
Allan Sharrock January 4, 2011 | 8:33 p.m.

Shelley what do you have against hog farmers? Don't you like bacon?

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers January 4, 2011 | 8:38 p.m.

Ricky Gurley

"And I am not sure that in a time of near economic recession and constant threats to our national security that our state should be so terribly concerned about this either.

And neither should you, Shelley..."

Hog wash.

There will always be threats against our security. Haven't you taken a history course? If we don't fight among ourselves, we get into a fight with others, at least once every generation--frequently more. Do we stop every aspect of life then because of this "threat to our national security"?

As for recession--yes, if we only encouraged dog breeding, we'd eliminate the recession.

Not.

This is not a big industry. It is definitely a non-growth industry, and definitely not worth spending time on.

But if the state representatives are going to waste time trying to repeal or modify Proposition B, then I'm going to spend time blocking them however I can.

"My point is simple.. Missouri is moving to a point where the state is trying to regulate EVERYTHING."

Hog wash.

You mention in your comment about how there are existing laws and regulations and the problem is they're not enforced, and then turn around and say there are too many, and LIFE AS WE KNOW IT IS THREATENED! Or something to that effect.

Proposition B is a refinement of existing laws. Proposition B regulations close gaps, improve enforcement, they certainly should help in closing down the worst of the breeders in this state.

As for the regulations you so disdain, given any lead painted to kiddies lately? How'd you like to eat meals in an industry without food standards? Why don't we do away with engineering standards, because it would so much more exciting when driving over streets or entering big cement parking garages.

And you know, we don't need regulations for the medical community. After all, there are no bad doctors.

You can speak about how we don't need regulations, because you're living in s protected world, where regulations have kept you, most of us, safe and sound. You have the luxury of disdaining regulations, because you've long taken them for granted.

It's so easy to be the libertarian cowbody--we don't need no sticken' regulations!

But I'd love to see you live in a land where you got exactly what you wanted.

So go cuddle your dogs, and not give a darn about any other dogs, because goodness knows, a good libertarian never worries about anything but his family and his property.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers January 4, 2011 | 8:39 p.m.

Allan Sharrock, I happen to have a great deal of respect for one hog farmer in Missouri: Newman Farm.

Those who can, do it right, like Newman Farm. Those who can't, evidently raise dogs.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers January 4, 2011 | 8:45 p.m.

Andrew Hansen, you are correct. The discussion is getting stale.

Reflect, though, on the story you tell of yourself, when you felt compelled to pay attention to the thread, and then use your time to insert a comment into a thread, for no other purpose than to tell people how you felt the discussion was boring.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 4, 2011 | 8:48 p.m.

It's FAILED hog farmers, Allan. She likes the successful hog farmers...

Hey Terry, banana nut bread, pecan dipsticks, and fruit tarts! Write me for the recipes. LOL.

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 4, 2011 | 8:57 p.m.

Shelley,

Banana Nut Bread and Pecan Dipsticks to you too, with lots of nuts! Big old nuts! You and Terry have a feast!

I hope most people reading you and Terry's rants are taking them as seriously as I am... ROFLMAO!

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward January 5, 2011 | 10:40 a.m.
This comment has been removed.
Andrew Hansen January 5, 2011 | 12:01 p.m.

"...when you felt compelled to pay attention to the thread, and then use your time to insert a comment into a thread, for no other purpose than to tell people how you felt the discussion was boring."
.
I am tired of this topic dominating the recent comments section on the front page.

(Report Comment)
Ruth Keezer January 6, 2011 | 10:43 p.m.

Well, well. Just ran across this thread again. I see Shelley lied when she said that she was not going to talk so much. Well, Shelley, about your questions......I am USDA and state licensed. You can look me up with FOIA. You can google-earth my house. I am a real person and a legitimate dog-breeder. You are not my friend and totally ignorant about the reality of raising dogs, so why would I tell you anything that is not also available to the public? You twist words and tell lies and have an agenda to help HSUS shut down the good dog breeders of Missouri. HSUS is the enemy of all agriculture dog breeders, and of Missouri in particular at the moment. I only post at all so anyone reading can hear the truth, rather than relying on your warped perception of professional dog breeding.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking January 7, 2011 | 5:56 a.m.

Ruth Keezer's USDA reports are flawless, except for one time where "a responsible adult" was not there when the inspector showed up. That's so minor a violation that it shouldn't even be mentioned. Everyone can't be there all the time.

Hopefully Ruth can stay in business with whatever compromises the legislature makes. She's one of the good ones.

DK

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers January 7, 2011 | 10:38 a.m.

Mark Foecking, all the USDA reports show is that Ruth Keezer's kennel meets current USDA regulations. This means her dogs can be in wire cages 6 inches longer than the length of their body; that they don't have to be explicitly seen by a veterinarian at least once a year; that they can be bred every 6 months, with their bodies not being able to recover between breeding cycles; that she has more than 50 dogs.

Ruth Keezer, one thing that could have worked to stop Proposition B is if the commercial dog breeders in this state welcomed people to see their operations. Reporters should have been invited to visit any of the breeders. The breeders should have posted videos and photos of every bit of their operation. We know the addresses--it's a matter of public record. There was no reason not to...except that this type of exposure is not wanted. Not only not wanted, vehemently fought.

When you have to hide your business, when you do everything possible to prevent exposure of your day to day operation, there's something wrong.

Regardless, this will make Andrew happy: I've now taken my writing to my own site, where I will battle the misinformation without inundating comment threads.

http://puppies.burningbird.net

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking January 7, 2011 | 7:03 p.m.

Shelley Powers wrote:

"When you have to hide your business, when you do everything possible to prevent exposure of your day to day operation, there's something wrong."

No. It simply means that there are elements of the operation that most people wouldn't understand. Some people simply don't like the idea of a dog in a cage, but there may be very good reasons for doing it, for the very welfare of the dog and her pups. And the dog(s) are fine with it - animals tend to like security and predictability more than adventure. If you'd read the model AVMA dog welfare bill I've posted you'd know that, but I guess that doesn't square with your agenda.

You have no background in breeding, or any aspect of animal care other than in your own home. Let the professionals work out what is reasonable care, and keep your emotions out of it.

DK

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 7, 2011 | 7:37 p.m.

Shelley Powers: "Regardless, this will make Andrew happy: I've now taken my writing to my own site, where I will battle the misinformation without inundating comment threads."
----------------------------------------------------------

Great! We will not have to see this "gibberish" any longer! And you can read, post, and reply to yourself over there "with your audience of one"....

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Yves Montclear January 7, 2011 | 10:01 p.m.

Shelley keeps fighting her fight. And their is nothing wrong with that kind of spirit.

This country used to allow people to own other people, and us the N-word for them.

This country used to allow people to smoke around other people in any place they wanted to, that has changed.

This country used to be run by a king, but enough people got tired of that, too.

Shelley has every right to her view. Maybe one day it will be accepted by all in the land. I doubt the King of England, and all the kings men, saw what was coming as this country began to be created, but it did happen. And they couldn't put Humptey Dumptey back together again.

and Paul Slinkey points out the obvious:
--that would be an equivalent of a quarter million years of human evolution... if we are evolving.--

We haven't evolved at all. We might know a few more things about the universe we are in, have nicer places to live, and fashionable clothes. But as human beings, personal interaction, we haven't evolved a bit in the last 5,000 years of recorded history we have now, as to how we act toward each other.

We still have the same base wants and desires, as a human 5,000, even 50,000 years ago, and perform all kinds of usual and unusual actions to get them.

If any higher species is watching us, I'm sure we are very entertaining to them.

What we think our basic needs and wants are now, are probably worse. And how we allow certain individuals and groups to screw over our whole macro environments, to get what they want.

With shameless disregard for caring about the many, their brethren, their fellow human beings. But it is the world, the reality, we live in. It is what it is.

But no, there has been no evolution here, in regard to the human emotional condition. Are humans 'happier' now than they were a 1,000 years ago? 10,000 years ago?

That is why, you keep going for it, Shelley!

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 7, 2011 | 11:47 p.m.

MyHyves Aren'tClear: "Shelley keeps fighting her fight. And their is nothing wrong with that kind of spirit."
----------------------------------------------------------

Your argument would be sound if Shelley did not display more of a tyranical attitude on this thread than anyone else has, with her false accusations, and veiled attempts to intimidate others.........

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Ruth Keezer January 9, 2011 | 10:14 a.m.

Rickey Gurley wrote: Great! We will not have to see this "gibberish" any longer! And you can read, post, and reply to yourself over there "with your audience of one"....

I agree 1000%!! Shelley often lies, though, so she may be back. Hope not!
@ Shelley for your information (NO reply needed, thanks):
I am on a major highway and my kennel is very visible from the highway. I am hardly hiding. Occasionally someone will notice the kennel and stop to see if I have puppies for sale. I have never had anyone ask to tour my kennel. It is not a public zoo.
I have cameras that display the entire nursery on a monitor in my diningroom. Anyone invited into my home (that would NOT be you, Shelley) is welcome to view my nursery on the monitor. Never had a negative comment about my nursery. Ever. An awful lot of breeders I know invite local customers into their kennels. I personally think it a bad practive for many reasons. Not the least of which is that there are too many vicious animal rights nuts looking to destroy all kennels however they can.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 9, 2011 | 11:03 a.m.

Ruth,

Here is my personal experience with this whole ordeal..

Although I will confess that I do not know a whole lot about the "kennel business"; if you'll allow me to call it that? I do have 3 dogs of my own; a German Shepherd and two Jack Russell Terriers.

I have conducted ONE (yes just one) "Puppy Mill Investigation". As a Private Investigator back in 2006 I was called upon by a client in California to investigate what they called a "Puppy Mill". The client was another Private Investigator that was hired by someone that had purchased a puppy from this Kennel. When I took the case, I heard all kinds of terrible things about this Kennel. But, it is important to remain objective in any investigation. I worked the case as an undercover operation. And I did a very thorough investigation, I got video of the entire Kennel and audio of an interview with the owner (the owner was unaware that she was being interviewed) and photographs of all of the dogs. It should be noted that I showed up completely unannounced.

The results? All of the claims were completely over-exaggerated or completely false. The dogs were well cared for. Their cages were clean, their demeanor was friendly, they were in good health, their environment was even climate controlled. I submitted my report with all of the evidence that I had gathered, and the other P.I. in California commented on how well the investigation was done, and reported back to his client that there were no signs of neglect or abuse at the kennel in question.

My thoughts are that it is easy to become emotionally involved when we are talking about pets that are dependent upon their owners for care; when we hear tales of abuse and neglect. I am not saying it does not happen (we all know it does). What I am saying is that unless their is hard evidence of it, rumors and innuendos should not suffice as a reason to cast aspersions on an entire profession. Which seems to be exactly what Shelley is doing.....

Ergo why I am happy to see her go to her own "little corner of the Internet"......

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Ruth Keezer January 10, 2011 | 9:15 p.m.

@ Ricky Gurley: Thank you for your last post. It was so refreshing (and encouraging) to hear an honest report like that. We have been so under siege here In Missouri that we forget sometimes that there are actually lots of people that are not in the business but that don't hate us just because we raise dogs.

(Report Comment)

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